The Contours of Paper

by joelmckerrow

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Paper is a precious thing. It is willing.

It takes in upon itself

our very wounds

our very wishes

our very splotch and splatter

the blot of ink on paper.

I once saw a girl empty herself out upon a napkin,

Ink met tears,

the paper wept.

She screwed it up.

Threw it in the bin and walked away.

I could not help myself,

reached in my hand, took out her crumpled story.

Laid it gently upon the table.

I lent over the words,

studied the very contours,

the crumpled map of sorrow.

A poetry spilt as mountains on parchment,

a deep lake and the cut-through river,

a valley where the lonely wander,

a forest too dark.

She was broken

and so I was broken.